I have been asked at times how I would describe The Keeper of Verdorso. What would sum it up best? How would you explain the concept of Verdorso? Many times I have thought these questions over. However, amongst the story of Nataleena finding her adventure in Verdorso, The Keepers of Verdorso holds many tales of times that have passed. Many explain Verdorso and its sentiments. At the very core of Verdorso is the belief of accepting and acknowledging differences between kin, not seeing them as a barrier but a way of working together to create harmony.
The Tale of Four Queens, embodies this ethic as a young prince works towards bringing peace to the lands.
I have copied the story into this blog, I hope you all enjoy it!
The Tale of Four Queens
“Many years before you arrived here there was a time when Verdorso was a dark place, some would say unsafe to venture to. You have heard of the four elements, right? Fire, Water, Earth and Air,” Nataleena nodded along not quite knowing where this was going.
“Well the people of these lands are kin of those four elements. I am earth kin as you know and so are Thyno and Simpa. When we were born, we started developing certain…traits, powers, gifts if you wanted to call them that, as do all Earth Kin.”
“What sort of gifts?”
“Nataleena if you needed to move a tree how would you do it?”
“I could not move a tree, but I guess I would cut it down.”
“How sad you would cut it down simply for being an inconvenience to you. If I needed a tree to move I would just sing to it. Earth Kin can hear the inner song of every living thing, be it a tree or a tiger. Our gifts are the inner song sung by everything that wants to be heard.” Inpa looked over to Freyothrot.
“Nataleena I guess your now wondering what gifts the rest of us have?” Freyothrot was right Nataleena was wondering.
“Fire Kin, there are many traits we have,” as Freyothrot said this the table began to giggle at the inside joke. “But we are creative kin, yes, we can be a little destructive, that is how things are created, right? Anyway, our gift is that of magic. If we needed to move a tree we would simply cast a spell to charm it.”
“Trees are stubborn though Freyothrot, they do not charm easily,” Grace reminded him.
“Aye, that is true but there are many things we create and do with our magic.”
Freyothrot smiled and threw a wink to Nataleena. She began to laugh.
“Well Borrchat, will you be telling us what Air Kin can do or not?”
Borrchat shot a grin at Freyothrot “I think I would rather show you Nataleena. Please come with me.”
Borrchat guided Nataleena over to a large stained-glass window that had the print of four strange symbols stained onto the glass. Gently he eased the window open,
Nataleena had every intention of not moving her gaze from outside the window but was not quite sure what she should be looking at. She breathed in deep exhaling as quietly as possible. As her chest started to fall Nataleena noticed something odd. The fallen leaves from the surrounding trees were starting to take flight, dancing up through the air until they were all spinning. Spinning, spiralling into a small furious tornado right in front of them all to see. At no point did Borrchat look away from this scene, guiding it with his thoughts.
“Air Kin can control and create wind,” Borrchat said after losing his gaze with the debris that had now softly landed back onto the floor of the woods.
“We control that with our thoughts, but we share songs to direct the animals of the sky.” Feenosa added.
Nataleena was beginning to understand why Grace had said to her she doubted her father would ever find her here.
“What about Water Kin, Grace what are your gifts?” The group looked to Grace who now was closing the window Borrchat had left open and made her way back to her
“Nataleena there are many gifts Water Kin possess, the obvious of course we guide the animals of the water and yes we can control and manipulate water.” With this Grace stood up from her chair placing her hand over her glass as Nataleena and the others watched her create a spinning sphere from the water in her glass. Then dropped it back.
“But Nataleena, water, like any creature, should be free and when you can watch free water flow without need to control it, then you will see water’s gifts, the gift of sight that runs through. Water travels far and will always bend to the course it needs to. If you look closely into the water you will always see the past, the present and the future. And that is the final gift that Water Kin have been given.”
Nataleena sat back in her chair thousands of questions running through her mind. “Maybe Grace knew I was going to be at the crossings that day. Maybe she knew all along,” Nataleena thought to herself. Clearing her mind, she focused on the conversation that was starting to pick back up again.
“Another glass of Topah?”
The glass was filled and Inpa looked ready to tell this tale of four queens.
“Now, going back to the original story,” Inpa got herself comfortable.
“As I said before, there was a time when Verdorso was not as safe as it is today. For months and years on end each element would try to take Verdorso for their own.
Take control of Verdorso you take control of all elements, the wind is created in Verdorso, the animals, plants and rocks are created in Verdorso, the purest water is created in Verdorso and the lava runs directly from Verdorso to Helthros. Any element that could take and manipulate Verdorso would be the only leaders of our world.
This constant battle for power continued for years, half controlled by fear that if they did not try to take power that another element would and half by complete madness. No peace had come to the woods for years only death and the destruction of the land. Every year that passed saw the next children who had come of age to fight in this war perish before their parents’ eyes. The Kings and Queens were no different.
Every year a son of fire, water, earth and air Royal kin was killed.
For what? A war that would never end.
One night, Queen Fleyonda of Water Kin decided that this war could not continue.
Using the dark shield of night, she travelled throughout Verdorso to each Kin’s home and call upon each Queen disguised as a lost human. A dangerous mission to complete but she knew it had to be done. Fleyonda brought the other Queens to this very inn. Though, there has been a few changes of name to inn since that time. When Queen Fleyonda revealed herself, the other Queens then realised they must work together to try and end this war. Yet still another year had passed, and no joy was brought to Verdorso, only the happy news that Queen Fleyonda was expecting
her fifth child.
Queen Fleyonda knew this child was different. This baby was strong she could feel it. It was the middle of the afternoon and Fleyonda was rushed into the sea to give birth. Her second male heir was born that day, Prince Palpayetton.
Many years went past, and no change had come to Verdorso. The attacks were becoming less but still a regular occurrence with an awful amount of bloodshed. Too much innocent blood was spilt over them dark years.
It had been eighteen years since Prince Palpayetton’s birth and Queen Fleyonda knew his time to join his kin and fight was drawing near. Like any mother she did not want him to go but she knew he was special. He had gifts that no water kin had ever been born with. He could choose where he lived, he could breathe on land as he did in water. Queen Fleyonda was the first water kin to be able to walk on land but it was limited until she had to be back breathing water. Yet Palpayetton could choose. One day when he was playing on land when Fleyonda had noticed something strange, he was singing to the animals that bordered the forest and they could understand him and sung back. A few days later she noticed something else, he was playing with the leaves on the floor making them rise and fall in gusts of wind. On another occasion, an attack on Earth Kin from Fire Kin saw the surrounding forests ablaze. Panicking Fleyonda could not see her fifth born son anywhere. She ran to the edge of the forest and saw him walking through the flames of the fire, unscathed, safe and using his own gifts to help put out the fire with water from the sea.
Four days before his nineteenth birthday he prepared himself for battle. To leave with his kin and fight for a land they would never own. Fleyonda waved her youngest son goodbye but felt safe in the knowledge that this son, this incredible young man would do something to change the history of Verdorso forever.
And he did.
Once he arrived at the battlefield he asked to speak to the leaders of each army.
With hesitation one by one the leaders of fire, earth and air followed the young kin of water to a clearing in the woods. Here he spoke freely to them and told them. “I am Prince Palpayetton, I am Water Kin, but I am not. I ask each of you to use your gifts and kill me here. Do what you can and if I die water kin will never return to Verdorso again to defend here.” Flushed with greed and an undying need to control Verdorso all three of the other kin agreed to this arrangement. They laughed at the idiot Prince prepared to die for some unknown reason other than peace within his own kin. They each stood behind a fallen branch from an oak tree to form a pentagon shape with the Prince standing in the middle point of the two empty sides.
Fire first, a strong spell filled full of fire’s ferocious fury, this should have instantly killed young Palpayetton but still he stood.
Next Air tried its hardest to sweep the Prince away with a wind that had everyone grasping hold of grounded object, so they would not be caught in the whirlwind of air’s power. Still Prince Palpayetton stood strong.
Finally, Earth came forward with the sweetest song sung by the sweetest voice. The sweetness turned sour as the song tried to convince a tree and some surrounding rocks to fall upon the Prince. The trees and the rocks refused once Palpayetton sang his own defence.
Not one of these elements could kill the young Prince. With fear rising Palpayetton spoke, “you see, I will not and cannot perish by any of your gifts. If I was a reckless man I would take Verdorso for myself as I could so easily do but instead I offer you a peace treaty, something to sign. Something that shows the unity that all elements can bring, the unity shown in me.”
Prince Palpayetton pulled, what would be later named The Treaty of Verdorso, out from his pocket. One by one they all agreed that no one would ever try to take Verdorso for themselves again and they would have protectors of Verdorso put in place. Now the Kings and Queens of kin were far too busy running their own kingdom. So, it was decided that a head would be chosen by each element’s royalty but that was not enough to keep the protectors from plotting or trying to take Verdorso for themselves. Prince Palpayetton came up with the idea that each element would have three of their kin, a head and two others that would ensure all peace was kept and within the twelve of them no more wars between elements would occur. All twelve would have rare gifts most of their kin do not possess. All would be rational folk, including the fire kin! They would keep the Treaty in place ensuring every element followed it. They would keep Verdorso a safe place for any kin to come to. They would keep all elements depending on each other’s gifts to run a smooth Verdorso.
They are The Keepers of Verdorso.”